Tim Tebow’s Impact Being Felt by Homeschoolers
It’s been more than two years since Tim Tebow has thrown a pass in an NFL game. But the former Heisman Trophy winner, who is hoping to make an impact for the Philadelphia Eagles this fall, is still making an impact in the field of educational opportunity.
Last week, the Alabama House of Representatives approved a bill that would permit homeschooled athletes to play on public school sports teams and take part in other extracurricular school activities.
The legislation is known as the “Tim Tebow Bill.” Under the legislation, which still must pass in the Alabama senate, students would be required to take standardized tests and meet the same academic standards as public school athletes in order to participate for their local teams.
Nearly half the 50 states have laws permitting equal access to athletic activities for homeschoolers. Kentucky and Arkansas are considering bills similar to Alabama’s, and proposals for similar legislation is being proposed in 12 other states.
Rep. Mike Ball, a Republican from Madison, has been a proponent of the bill in the Alabama House. “I think this is good for the homeschool children to have some social interaction with the public school kids, and I think it is good for the public school kids to have some social interaction with these homeschool kids. I think it’s good for all the children.”
Tebow is far from the only homeschooler to achieve fame and fortune. He was homeschooled but starred in football at Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Florida, before going on to win the 2007 Heisman Trophy and numerous other awards at the University of Florida. Tebow’s four older brothers and sisters were also homeschooled by their parents, Pam and Bob, who are considered “pioneers” in the homeschooling movement.
Florida changed its laws in 1996 to permit homeschooled athletes to play for local high school teams.
Tebow, who played for the Denver Broncos in 2010-2011 and threw eight passes for the New York Jets in 2012, is still looking to duplicate his collegiate success in the NFL. Although viewed as a backup quarterback, it’s believed the Eagles could try to utilize Tebow’s athletic skills in multiple offensive roles this season.
Seth Livingstone is a veteran writer and editor who has spent much of his career in sports journalism covering multiple Olympic Games, Super Bowls, World Series, and Daytona 500s. He covered the Boston Red Sox throughout the 1980s and 1990s before joining USA Today and Baseball Weekly in 1999. He maintains his membership in the Baseball Writers Association of America and is a Hall of Fame voter. Seth holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northeastern University and has also worked as a substitute teacher (all grades and subjects). He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and has two grown children.